The False Sense of Cyber Security in the IT Industry

cyber security

In a world where Russia is believed to be a cyber threat to the US elections, Yahoo has supposedly aided US email surveillance by adapting their spam filter, Verizon’s CEO, who acquired Yahoo earlier this year, is “not that shocked” about their breach that exposed 500 million users, and social media is linked to the most young terrorists’ recruitment, according to CNBC – cyber security has become a top concern in the IT industry.

Statistics show that 49% of US companies fully deployed security intelligence systems between 2014 and 2015. The top cyber security technologies they instituted, according to Statista, were advanced perimeter controls and firewall technologies, extensive deployment of encryption technologies, and security intelligence systems. Take a look at the full report with percentage of use, below.


Even so, the cost of cyber crime attacks amounted to $15.42 million dollars, in 2015, in the US alone. The United States paid the highest price, followed by Germany who lost less than half that amount and then closely by Japan. Russia is also on the list of top 7 countries who were most affected by cyber attacks, last on the list. Take a look at the classification below provided by Statista.


I’m not done digging. In order to see the full picture here, let’s find out where most cyber  attacks came from. Brazil takes the first place with a whapping 25% of attack traffic, followed closely and interestingly by the US with a close 23%, and Germany with 9%. If your brain works the same way as mine and you’re looking for a pattern here but it doesn’t quite add up, don’t worry! Russia is there too. Like in all industries, there are a few big players that get all the action.


Apparently, as of 2015 most spam messages also come from the US, 15.2% to be exact. Followed by (drum roll please…) Russia, with 6.2%. Just a fun fact for you.

How do I protect my company?

By now, you might be thinking that if you live in another country than the ones mentioned above you’re completely out of trouble. Wrong. (And please imagine that annoying sound from when someone made a mistake in a game show.) The biggest organization endpoint security threats according to a survey of IT security professionals in the United States in 2016 have something to do with your employees and mobile devices. (Maybe we should have saved the name “Mobilegeddon” for this?) Take a look:

  • Negligent or careless employees who do not follow security policies – 81%
  • The number of employees and others using multiple mobile devices in the workplace has increased – 61%
  • Employees’ use of commercial cloud applications in the workplace – 56%
  • There are more personal devices connected to the network (BYOD) – 56%
  • Malware infections are more stealthy and difficult to detect – 56%
  • The number of insecure mobile devices used in the workplace had increased significantly – 50%
  • Attacker lateral movement once a gap in protection is compromised – 42%
  • Unknown or previously unseen threats in my environment that are difficult to detect with legacy endpoint technology – 37%

According to the same survey, the biggest gaps in the ability to stop attacks to endpoints are:

  1. Lack of governance and control processes – 54%
  2. Lack of in-house expertise – 26%
  3. Lack of enabling technologies – 20%

Who can help me protect my company?

Speaking of enabling technologies and how much revenue they’re bringing in: the statistic below shows the revenue of security appliance vendors worldwide from the first quarter of 2012 to the first quarter of 2016. In the second quarter of 2014, Cisco (the “Big Kahuna”) generated $414 million in the security appliance market.


But let’s take a walk on the startup side. There are 610 cyber security startups on Angel List alone, with a $4.7 million average valuation. Forbes quoted Lux Research and said that “Venture capital investment in cyberphysical security startups rose 78% to $228 million in 2015, and will rise to S400 million in 2016 as rapid adoption of the Internet of Things (IoT) raises the threat to products such as connected cars, smart homes and future factories”.

Cyber attacks will become an issue in our everyday lives, not just our companies, as IoT develops and the future of AI, AR and VR becomes the present. Let’s take a look at Forbes’ 2016 list of the 10 hottest cyber security startups and how they protect industrial control systems, SCADA, and OT networks that run factories and infrastructure, robots, equipment, and programmable logic controllers (PLCs).

  1. ForeScout – network behaviour analysis and visibility platform – $137.9 million raised
  2. Cylance – device behaviour analysis platform – $77 million raised
  3. LogRhythm – security intelligence and analytics platform – $71.6 million raised
  4. Mocana – IoT device security software platform – $70.4 million raised
  5. DarkTrace – machine learning for network anomaly detection – $40.5 million raised
  6. SentinelONE – behavioral-based detection and intelligent automation – $39.5 million raised
  7. NextNine – Operational Technology (OT) security management software – $35 million raised
  8. Red Bend Software – code verification and M2M device management – $33.5 million raised
  9. Sansa – hardware-based security developer – $29.5 million raised
  10. ThetaRay – anomaly-detection specialists – $25 million raised

And Romania is also a cybersecurity hub, where lots of global companies were either born or developed. Among them, we have to mention Bitdefender – internet security software company that has been developing online protection since 2001 and now has offices and partners in 100+ offices all around the world, or Cyberghost – a one-click truly complete VPN solution that enables you to enjoy online browsing without fear of hackers, mass surveillance and online behavior tracking.

And there’s lots of potential in Europe as well. Take a look at these cybersecurity startups that are innovating in this sector:

  • LiveMon – an all-in-one monitoring solution that provides actionable insights to identify and eliminate incoming threats before impacting a company’s services.
  • TypingDNA – security SaaS that uses AI algorithms to identify and authenticate individuals based on the way they type on their keyboard.
  • AIrisVISION – technology that can recognize and understand objects and concepts in photos, videos and live streams.
  • UNLOQ – custom branded Mobile App that offers 3 Multi-Factor Authentication options, Transaction authorisation and Data encryption.
  • EyeDomain – a domain research tool that analyses relations between domains and their owners, Whois data, IP, NS and MX data.

If you want to meet them, potential investors, as well as experts in the cyber security industry and beyond, you should not miss How to Web Conference 2016 on November 1 & 2 at the National Theatre in Bucharest. Ticket prices double on Monday, October 24th, so hurry up and book yours here!


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